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Paralympic viewing guide: Aurélie Rivard swims for another gold – CBC.ca

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This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are officially underway. Today’s opening ceremony at Japan’s National Stadium featured 162 flags — including those for the six-member refugee team and Afghanistan, whose athletes were unable to leave the country to compete after the Taliban regained power. Canada’s flag was carried by Priscilla Gagné, a medal contender in judo. One hundred and twenty-eight Canadian athletes, including guides, are set to compete in 18 different sports at these Games. Read more about the opening ceremony and watch highlights here

Competition begins tonight at 8 p.m. ET, with two dozen sets of medals to be awarded on Day 1. Here’s a guide to what to watch on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning:

Canada’s best Para swimmer goes for another gold

Aurélie Rivard is the reigning Paralympic and world champion and holds the world record in the women’s 50-metre freestyle S10 event (S10 refers to the disability classification), which begins with qualifying heats at 9:33 p.m. ET. The final goes at 6:12 a.m. ET.

Rivard, 25, also won gold in her 100- and 400-metre freestyle events at the 2016 Games in Rio and added a silver in the 200m individual medley to bring her career Paralympic medal count to five. That’s the most of any woman on the current Canadian team. Rivard also owns 14 world championship medals.

After the 50m freestyle, Rivard will defend her title in the 100m free on Saturday and the 400m free on Sept. 1. She’ll also compete in the 100m backstroke on Sept. 2 and the 200m individual medley on Sept. 3.

Four other Canadian swimmers are competing on Day 1: Alec Elliot (men’s 50m freestyle S10), Nicholas Bennett (men’s 100m butterfly S14), Angela Marina (women’s 100m butterfly S14) and Shelby Newkirk (women’s 50m freestyle S6). The latter three are making their Paralympic debuts.

WATCH | 5 Canadian Paralympians to watch for in Tokyo:

5 Canadian Paralympians to watch in Tokyo

11 hours ago

Learn about one of the greatest wheelchair basketball players of all time, a track cyclist making her Paralympic debut after an incredible recovery, the king of Para triathlon and more with CBC Sports host, Jacqueline Doorey. 2:44

Other Canadian contenders to watch on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning

In chronological order:

Women’s goalball: Canada vs. the Russian Paralympic Committee team at 9:30 p.m. ET

The women’s tournament opener looks like a tight matchup. Canada is ranked sixth in the world and Russia is seventh. Canada placed fourth at the most recent world championships, in 2018. The team is looking for its first Paralympic medal since it took back-to-back golds in 2000 and 2004.

Goalball, which is for athletes with visual impairments, is one of two Paralympic sports that does not have an Olympic equivalent (boccia is the other). It’s played on an indoor court, with soccer-like nets on each end that span the width of the playing surface. From just in front of their own net, athletes try to bowl the ball into their opponents’ net and block their opponents’ tosses. The ball has bells inside it to help players gauge where it is, and there are tactile markings on the court to help with orientation. Players and fans must remain completely silent so the ball can be heard. Read more about the Canadian team here and watch an explainer video on goalball here

Track cycling: Keely Shaw in the women’s C4 3,000m individual pursuit event

The 27-year-old has a chance to win Canada’s first medal of the Games. Shaw took silver in this event at the 2019 world championships and finished fourth in 2020. She’ll make her Paralympic debut when the qualifying round starts at 9:56 p.m. ET. The final is at 1 a.m. ET.

Women’s wheelchair basketball: Canada vs. Great Britain at 1:45 a.m. ET

Canada won five of the six women’s world championships held from 1994-2014 before losing in the quarter-finals in 2018 — the most recent time the tournament was held. Great Britain took silver in 2018, losing to the Netherlands in the title game. Canada’s last Paralympic medal in women’s wheelchair basketball was a bronze in 2004, which came on the heels of three consecutive golds.

Wheelchair rugby: Canada vs. Great Britain at 4:30 a.m. ET

Also known as murderball because of the violent collisions that can happen, wheelchair rugby is a mixed event at the Paralympics. Canada has never won gold, but it has reached the podium in four of the six tournaments held. The team lost the bronze game to Japan in 2016 in Rio, then placed sixth at the most recent world championships, in 2018.

For the full schedule of Canadians competing on each day of the Games, go here.

How to watch live events

A variety of sports will be streamed live on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and CBCSports.ca starting at 8 p.m. ET. See the detailed schedule, which will include links to watch the events when they go live, here.

You can also watch competitions on the CBC TV network from 3-5 p.m., 7-8 p.m. and 12:30-2:30 a.m. in your local time

More on the Paralympics

Read a primer on the Tokyo Games here, and some fun facts about the Canadian team here. Read more about how Canada’s athletes are approaching the Games, which are happening a year late and during Japan’s worst wave of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, in this story by CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux. Devin is in Tokyo covering the Games, and you can follow his tireless Twitter updates here

You’re up to speed. Talk to you tomorrow.

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Teoscar Hernandez's 3-run shot spurs Blue Jays to victory over Twins – CBC.ca

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The three-run homer launched by Teoscar Hernandez in the fourth inning provided the Blue Jays with enough runs to defeat the Minnesota Twins on Saturday in Toronto, and the blast pushed him past Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the team lead in RBI.

The 6-2 victory also restored the Blue Jays (83-65) to the second wild-card spot in the American League by a half-game over the New York Yankees.

The Yankees (83-66) were thumped 11-3 at home by Cleveland. The Boston Red Sox (85-65) held on to the top wild-card spot with a 9-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Hernandez has 106 RBI, two more than Guerrero, who has an outside chance at the AL triple crown. He’s first in batting average (.318) and homers (46), and now fourth in RBI, eight behind Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

“If he has a chance for the triple crown, I’ll ask Charlie to sit me,” joked Hernandez, who has 20 RBI in September.

The 28-year-old Hernandez credits work on his mental game as the reason for his productive and consistent season. He’s not only been reliable at the plate but also in the outfield.

“He’s been the best hitter on a lot of teams,” Blue Jays starter Steven Matz said of Hernandez. “He’s easy to overlook with how good this lineup is. He’s been amazing.”

Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak, a seven-time Olympic medallist, was among 14,722 at the Rogers Centre. She threw out the ceremonial first pitch and tossed a strike.

Twins’ 8-game win streak stopped

The Twins appeared headed for a ninth straight win in Toronto dating back Aug. 17, 2017. They led 2-0 after the first inning on a two-run homer to right field by former Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who also belted a solo shot in Minnesota’s series-opening win Friday.

But Matz settled down after Donaldson’s homer Saturday to retire 16 of the next 17 Twins.

Matz has benefitted from the highest average of run support in Major League Baseball this season at 8.07 a game. He’s won his last four decisions. His 13th win matched Hyun Jin Ryu for the team lead.

And while Ryu has struggled in his last two starts, Matz has stepped up big time.

“To be in a hole like that, you just want to make good pitches and put up zeroes,” Matz said.

“I just wanted to keep it close and wait for the bats to come alive.”

The bats perked up in the fourth. Minnesota rookie starter Bailey Ober (2-3) took a no-hitter into the inning. The home side got to Ober the second time through the Blue Jays’ order.

Marcus Semien led off the fourth with a solo shot to left field to become only the fifth second baseman in MLB history to hit 40 or more homers in a season.

Guerrero then walked, and Bo Bichette singled to centre. Hernandez lifted a first-pitch slider high into the sky that barely cleared the left-field fence for his 28th homer and a two-run advantage.

“I knew I hit it good, but just a little high,” he said.

Toronto padded its lead in the seventh when Twins reliever Jovani Moran loaded the bases with walks to Alejandro Kirk, George Springer and Guerrero. Kyle Barraclough replaced Moran and was greeted with a two-run single to left from Bichette.

A two-out walk to Donaldson followed by a single to centre from Miguel Sano ended Matz’s day after 96 pitches and five and two-thirds innings of work.

The lefty struck out five, walked two and yielded only three hits.

Blue Jays reliever Trevor Richards finished off the sixth for Matz. Tim Mayza generated a one-two-three seventh inning and struck out Nick Gordon to begin the eighth.

Righty Adam Cimber finished off the eighth, aided by a brilliant play from Bichette. He went deep in the hole to his right to throw out Donaldson.

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Bad news as Big Boyz Brigade debuts for Edmonton Oilers in rookie games against Flames – Edmonton Journal

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The last thing you want to happen in an exhibition game between top rookie prospects? For one of your top prospects to go out with injury.

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That’s what happened with Dmitri Samorukov and the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton’s 4-3 prospect game win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Early in the first period, after a couple on-ice collisions, Samorukov left the game. It was an ominous moment, all the more so because Samorukov’s season was cut short last year due a shoulder injury. He had just been cleared one week ago to return to the ice from injury. He had been the talk of the first few days of the Oilers rookie camp, impressing team insiders with his great skating and big body.

Winger Xavier Bourgault also took a nasty hit-from-behind into the boards late in the game, missing the final three minutes of the game.

There was no word on the extent of the Samorukov and Bourgault’s injuries at the time we published this post.

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Samorukov is part of Edmonton’s Big Boyz Brigade on defence, Edmonton’s group of young and hulking d-man prospects , all of them well over six feet tall.

The group also includes Philip Broberg, Michael Kesselring, Markus Niemelainen, Filip Berglund, Phil Kemp and Vincent Desharnais. They should form the Bakersfield defence this year.

Kemp, Broberg, Niemelainen, Berglund and Kesselring all played in the rookie game.

Each of the Big Boyz Brigade got stronger as the game went on. The Oilers rookies came back from a 3-1 first period deficit to win.

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Here are brief reports on each of the Big Boyz Brigade, with my account limited because I was unable to go over video to review the key plays.

Kesselring: He got beat to a rebound on one goal against and failed to block a shot on another.  But as the game went on, he got stronger, playing on a pairing with Markus Niemelainen. Kesselring got his feet going and made a number of strong plays, winning, moving and shooting the puck.

Niemelainen: He reminded me a bit of Kris Russell in this one (though a much bigger version of Russell), in that he’s fast on his skates and defensive minded. He also won the puck a few times in his zone and was only able to dump it out, as opposed to making a good pass to get it out. But, overall, got the job done on defence, though he failed to cut out a pass on one goal against and was slow to his man in front of the Edmonton net on another.

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Kemp: He scored two bad angle goals, one through a screen and one on a deflection, but he scored them because he jumped into the attack and put the puck at the net. What’s not to like? He did get beat down the wing on one dangerous Flames rush in the first. But he also jumped up a few times to pinch and keep the puck in the Calgary end. This was the best I’ve seen him as an Oilers prospect. After Samorukov went out, he paired up with veteran Yanni Kaldis, who made a few nice passes for assists on the power play.

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Broberg: He looked bad on one early goal against, wandering behind the net, and taking himself out of position to stop a slot pass, which eventually ended up in the net. Other than that, though, Broberg played well. He skated miles and skated fast. He was Edmonton’s top d-man on the power play, making a number of good passes and even better pinches in that role. A super solid 2021-22 debut for the Oilers.

Berglund: He looked much, much, much better here than he had when I last saw him play in Sweden in the fall, when he was playing hurt. He too had a bad moment in the first, getting caught in the n-zone on a Calgary rush and goal. But he was Edmonton’s steadiest d-man in this game, shutting down the attack, moving the puck, invariably in position. It looks like he and Broberg will form Edmonton’s top partnership in Bakersfield to start the year.

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Top-ranked Bombers beat Elks for fourth straight victory – TSN

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EDMONTON — The defence turned the tide for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday.

DeAundre Alford and Adam Bighill recorded defensive touchdowns as the league-leading Blue Bombers fought their way past the Edmonton Elks 37-22.

“Our defence, scoring two touchdowns for us, that is absolutely amazing when they are able to create turnovers like that and capitalize on them with points on the board,” said Winnipeg running back Andrew Harris.

“Our defence has been our backbone. They really flexed when we needed them to.”

Alford had two touchdowns in the contest.

“I think this is the best defence in the CFL and that we put everybody on notice that we are going to play fast and physical,” he said. “That we are going to do whatever it takes to win.”

The Blue Bombers (6-1) have won four games in a row while the Elks (2-4) have lost two straight and fell to 0-4 at home this season.

Elks quarterback Taylor Cornelius went 19 for 33 and passed for 243 yards with three interceptions in his CFL debut as he replaced Trevor Harris, who was placed on the six-game injured list with a neck injury.

“I thought he played really poised,” said Elks head coach Jaime Elizondo. “Listen, for having one day of practice, I thought he came out and showed some things that were really, really encouraging and I thought the guys responded really well to him.

“He didn’t get flustered. I know he’s going to be hard on himself with the mistakes he made. But those interceptions were a credit to the defence, they had some good breaks on the ball.”

Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros went 19 of 24 passing for 252 yards, a TD and an interception.

Winnipeg got off to a blazing start by scoring on its first drive, going 80 yards in nine plays, capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Collaros to Darvin Adams.

The Blue Bombers doubled their lead on their next drive as Nic Demski ploughed his way through several defenders for a 21-yard rushing major to make it 14-0.

Edmonton got back into the game midway through the second thanks to a Christian Rector fumble recovery on the Bombers’ nine-yard-line, leading to a James Wilder Jr. touchdown run.

Winnipeg kicker Ali Mourtada missed a 28-yard field goal attempt before Edmonton’s Sean Whyte nailed a three-pointer from 44 yards out to make it 15-10 at the mid-mark.

Edmonton surged into the lead early in the third quarter with an unconverted 19-yard TD run by Wilder.

However the Bombers regained the lead as Alford picked off Cornelius and took it back 22 yards for the touchdown. A two-point convert made it 23-16 for Winnipeg.

Whyte responded with a 32-yard field goal before Mourtada missed his third field goal attempt of the game from 44 yards.

The Bombers defence did it again late in the third as Cornelius fumbled deep in his own end, leading to a three-yard scoop and score by Bighill.

After Whyte kicked a 19-yard field goal, Winnipeg put the game away with a one-yard TD plunge by Sean McGuire.

Both teams have a bye next week. The Elks’ next game will be in Ottawa on Sept. 28, while the Bombers will be in B.C. on Oct. 1. Winnipeg and Edmonton will then play each other again in a home-and-home series.

Notes: Two highly anticipated players made their Elks debuts: offensive lineman SirVincent Rogers and linebacker Derrick Moncrief… Winnipeg was trying its third place-kicker of the season with Mourtada making his CFL debut, relegating rookie Marc Liegghio to punting duties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2021.

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